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Danny Boyle with the cast of Trance: Rosario Dawson, James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel

Starting out in regional theatre before moving towards the silver screen no doubt nurtured this approach. “He knows how to get [from you] what he wants without huge amounts of chat,” McAvoy adds.

“He doesn’t have to go through stories from his life: ‘I remember this time when I was 10 years old and my granny smacked me and I felt this rage bubble up inside me, do you know what I mean?’ He gets you there with economy and grace.”

It is this faith from others in his craft that persuades people to sign on for Boyle – indeed, it was this strength that shaped the opening ceremony into more than a Britain’s Got Talent charade – and gets them to go that extra mile.

For Trance, this involved nude scenes with his leading lady – one Dawson was up for from the get-go, understanding it was not gratuitous but integral to the story. 

“You do it with a closed set,” Boyle explains of the process. “There are some actors who regard part of their job as [being] that they have the whole of them available to you. 


Danny Boyle picks up the Oscar for Best Director for Slumdog Millionaire

“You’ll be surprised how the power shifts when you are in that moment. A lot of actors have said to me that they feel incredibly vulnerable until they do it, but then they have all the power. Once you have your kit off, whether it is on set or on stage, people daren’t look at you. No one wants to be in the situation where somebody naked says, ‘What are you looking at?’”

Trance was actually filmed during Boyle’s two-year preparation for the Olympics. He took a stint off to do Frankenstein on the London stage with Trainspotting alumni Jonny Lee Miller, with whom he may or may not re-team for a Spud, Renton, Begbie and Sick Boy sequel (he won’t do it if there is any chance it will disappoint). And he then took another sabbatical for this. 

So while Boyle was preparing to celebrate London, the UK, and all it has given the world, he was also beavering away on a movie in which murder and manipulation are high currency. Both projects were built around the same intent, though, in many ways. 

“Everything you do is about seducing the audience,” he says of the method behind the movie. Believe us, Trance will suck you right in. It may or may not make you think you are a chicken, though. 

Trance is released March 27 through Pathé. Read our Trance film review

Photo: Getty


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Interview - Danny Boyle: The Oscar-winning director follows up his Olympic show with new psychological thriller film Trance
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